The Energy Policy Group
The Energy Policy Group at the University of Exeter provides an academic hub for the interdisciplinary study of energy policy. We place sustainability and change at the heart of debates about energy policy and governance. We work collaboratively with stakeholders and researchers on the economics and politics of energy to find new and innovative approaches for enabling the transition to a low carbon, sustainable and affordable energy system.
EPG focuses on applied energy policy research and practice change, within the UK and internationally, to inform industry, policy makers and wider society. We cover the: energy demand side (such as the psychology and sociology of behaviour and energy use, demand response, and demand reduction); the energy supply side (including renewables, fossil fuels, and nuclear); and energy system operation and integration (including infrastructure, networks, smart grids, markets, rules, regulations, and institutions) as well as cross-cutting issues such as technology change, economics, innovation, governance, policy, politics and supply chains. Key current research themes include: future directions for energy policy and governance; the roles of social and technical change; the interface between people and technology; how politics, rules and regulations can and could shape the energy system; and balancing affordability alongside carbon management and security.
The EPG works in a way that enables an interdisciplinary, practice-orientated and collaborative approach to a sustainable energy future, and seeks to develop relationships to foster this way of working. These include links with other research groups within the UK and internationally, as well energy industry practitioners, such as suppliers, government, the regulator, consumer groups and NGOs, and wider actors within the energy system, including end users.
Our research work is currently funded by grants from UK Research Councils as well as through consultancy with national and international clients. In addition to carrying out our own research, we provide advice and analysis to a wide range of key stakeholders on all sides of the energy debate, through research papers, policy proposals, reports, consultation responses, public enquiries, and conferences. We also give presentations to a wide variety of audiences, and contribute to the wider debate in the general media through our blogs, Twitter feed, TV and radio interviews, and comment pieces.
The EPG was established by Professor Catherine Mitchell and Dr Bridget Woodman in 2007 to provide policy relevant research and analysis. Initially the focus was on developing the group presence, setting up an energy policy MSc, building the group and publishing on a range of issues. The EPG now comprises ten staff, four PhD students and 16 associates, who are leaders in their respective fields.
As the EPG grows we are focusing more on research that analyses and assesses policies against the need to deliver a more sustainable, secure and affordable energy system. We are continuing to build our national and international reputation by providing rigorous research, informed by both current political and academic debates, as well as unpicking some of the complex, interrelated questions faced by the key decision-makers and actors within the energy system. The EPG will continue to challenge the status quo to provide informed analysis and advice on developing a sustainable energy future.
Our future work will focus on innovation and governance within system change, energy economics and regulation, innovation policy, technical change, policy studies and the psychology and sociology of behaviour and energy use.
To find out more about the group and its members, visit the EPG webpages here.
For a high-level overview of the group and its projects (as of April 2018), see here.